BRITTINGHAM v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 2/6/2017. (rtm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
CHASE MATTHEW BRITTINGHAM,
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 16-7614 (JBS-AMD)
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL
Chase Matthew Brittingham, Plaintiff Pro Se
207 Stevens Avenue
West Atco, New Jersey 08004
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Chase Matthew Brittingham seeks to bring a civil
rights complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”). Complaint, Docket
Entry 1. Based on Plaintiff’s affidavit of indigency, the Court
will grant his application to proceed in forma pauperis.
At this time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to determine whether it should be
dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the
complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C.
Plaintiff alleges that he was detained in the CCCF on the
following dates: March 21, 2014 to May 1, 2014; April 19, 2010
to September 17, 2010; June 26, 2009 to October 9, 2009;
February 11, 2009 to April 14, 2009; November 29, 2007 to May
29, 2007; March 3, 2007 to August 24, 2007; February 9, 2007 to
February 28, 2007; November 4, 2006 to November 23, 2006;
September 1, 2006; and November 17, 2005 to December 1, 2005.
Complaint § III. He further alleges that during the various
detentions he was “assigned to sleep on the floor.” Id.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding in
forma pauperis. The Court must sua sponte dismiss any claim that
is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. This action is subject to sua
sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)
because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to
show that the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308
n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). “[A]
pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.’”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from CCCF for allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Primarily, the
complaint must be dismissed as the CCCF is not a “state actor”
within the meaning of § 1983. See, e.g., Grabow v. Southern
State Corr. Facility, 726 F. Supp. 537, 538–39 (D.N.J. 1989)
(correctional facility is not a “person” under § 1983).
Accordingly, the claims against CCCF must be dismissed with
Generally, “plaintiffs who file complaints subject to
dismissal under [§ 1915] should receive leave to amend unless
amendment would be inequitable or futile.” Grayson v. Mayview
State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002). This Court denies
leave to amend at this time as Plaintiff’s complaint is barred
by the statute of limitations, which is governed by New Jersey's
two-year limitations period for personal injury.1 See Wilson v.
Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985); Dique v. N.J. State Police,
603 F.3d 181, 185 (3d Cir. 2010). The accrual date of a § 1983
action is determined by federal law, however. Wallace v. Kato,
549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007); Montanez v. Sec'y Pa. Dep't of Corr.,
773 F.3d 472, 480 (3d Cir. 2014).
“Under federal law, a cause of action accrues when the
plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury upon which the
action is based.” Montanez, 773 F.3d at 480 (internal quotation
marks omitted). Plaintiff states he was detained at CCCF on
various dates between the years 2005 to 2014 with the most
recent detention occurring from March 21, 2014 to May 1, 2014.
The allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF
would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of
his detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for
Plaintiff’s claims expired May 1, 2016 at the latest. Plaintiff
filed this complaint too late as he filed his complaint on
“Although the running of the statute of limitations is
ordinarily an affirmative defense, where that defense is obvious
from the face of the complaint and no development of the record
is necessary, a court may dismiss a time-barred complaint sua
sponte under § 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to
state a claim.” Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 F. App’x 110, 111–12
(3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam).
October 20, 2016. As there are no grounds for equitable tolling
of the statute of limitations,2 the complaint will be dismissed
with prejudice. Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 F. App’x 110, 112
(3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (affirming dismissal with prejudice
due to expiration of statute of limitations).
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed with
prejudice for failure to state a claim. An appropriate order
February 6, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
Equitable tolling “is only appropriate ‘(1) where the defendant
has actively misled the plaintiff respecting the plaintiff's
cause of action; (2) where the plaintiff in some extraordinary
way has been prevented from asserting his or her rights; or (3)
where the plaintiff has timely asserted his or her rights
mistakenly in the wrong forum.’” Omar v. Blackman, 590 F. App’x
162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Santos ex rel. Beato v. United
States, 559 F.3d 189, 197 (3d Cir. 2009)).
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